Commerz Real launches open-ended infra impact fund

The German group is vowing to make a tangible and demonstrable climate impact, ‘in contrast to conventional sustainability funds’.

German asset manager Commerz Real has launched a new open-ended fund designed to invest in renewables and “sustainable infrastructure”.

The Commerzbank affiliate has launched Klimavest to focus on investments in real assets that make a meaningful contribution to carbon emission reductions. It said in a statement that this will include renewable energy generation, in addition to mobility, forestry and “sustainable infrastructure”, which a Commerz Real spokesman told Infrastructure Investor is defined as associated grid infrastructure.

The manager said it wanted to gather a portfolio worth about €25 billion over the next 50 years via the fund, accepting commitments of €10,000 and above, and targeting annual returns of between 3 and 4 percent.

Commerz Real has launched the fund under its impact investment division, led by Tobias Huzarski, who joined at the beginning of this year. Klimavest will be targeting assets “which make a tangible and thus demonstrable contribution to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions”, according to a statement from Commerz Real, which is “in contrast to conventional sustainability funds”.

“While so-called ESG funds are usually defined by exclusion criteria, for instance no investments in lignite, impact funds have the objective of making a measurable positive environmental and/or social contribution,” the firm said in the statement.

Following Huzarski’s appointment in January, Commerz Real said it was intending to “invest in renewable energies to a far greater extent”. Last year, it launched Commerz Real Institutional Renewable Energies Fund II, a vehicle targeting €500 million which holds the group’s first offshore wind investment. Its most recent deal came in September, when it spent €82.5 million to acquire three wind farms in Sweden.

The Commerz Real spokesman said the investments in renewables in Kilmavest will differ from previous funds in that “they have to make a tangible contribution to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and report this reduction”.

“Furthermore, there are additional strict sustainability parameters pursuant to the current EU Taxonomy Regulation,” he added, which will include Commerz Real analysing impacts of noise and waste from wind farm installations.